The establishment of government-backed digital currencies is “a matter of when and how they’re done, not if,” according to the president and CEO of PayPal, which recently received clearance to let users buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
The comment came Monday evening during an analyst call on PayPal’s third-quarter earnings, in which the company’s top brass reported that the turn toward e-commerce during the coronavirus pandemic had led to more than $1 billion in revenue growth and the addition of 15.2 million new active accounts compared to the previous quarter.
Last month, the digital payments giant announced that thanks to a first-of-its-kind “conditional Bitlicense” from New York state’s financial regulator, it would soon offer a digital wallet service to U.S. users that will be compatible with popular cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
When asked to discuss the effect that cryptocurrencies would have on PayPal’s ecosystem, President and CEO Dan Schulman said that digital assets — including government-backed digital dollars issued by the central banks, known as central bank digital currencies or CBDCs — are expected to become ingrained in the payments and financial services space in the years to come.
“My conversations with central banks, with the regulators, with a number of folks in the crypto field — there’s no question that digital currencies are going to be rising in importance, having increasing functionality and increasing prominence,” Schulman said. “CBDCs, from my perspective and all my conversations, are a matter of when and how they’re done, not if.”